Assembling and aligning stakeholders with political influence and societal trust that bring credibility to the Water Fund and helps the institution initiate interventions. This includes stakeholders from the private companies, academia, civil society and the public sector all engaging at different levels of participation with the Water Fund (some as partners, some as promoters and some as allies). Work in this area is focused primarily on the Water Fund’s initial set-up, but may also be necessary in the early phases of interventions to assemble/organize relevant stakeholder support for these initiatives.

Why is this necessary?

Multi-stakeholder governance is an essential component of every Water Fund. Governance refers to both (1) the processes and rules for decision-making within a Water Fund itself, and (2) the actions a Water Fund can take to influence the overarching governance context within which it is operating (e.g. influencing public policy). 

This focus on both the internal and external water governance context requires a range of engagements, analyses, agreements, plans, and actions be taken. These areas of focus are outlined below.

Multi-Stakeholder Governance is an ongoing process through which conflicting or diverse interests may be accommodated and cooperative action may be taken. This form of governance requires that (a.) both public and private stakeholders hold the will or accept a broad framework through which they manage their business and (b.) there is a process through which negotiation can occur and power can be balanced.

Key Ideas

Guidance related to governance in this Toolbox is generally provided around the following areas: 

  1. Stakeholder Engagement

    There are a range of analyses and processes that are undertaken across the Water Funds Project Cycle to ensure all relevant stakeholders of a Water Fund are engaged and provided with opportunities to contribute. This includes actions such as analyzing/mapping stakeholders, engagement techniques, and sustaining participation over the long-term.
  2. Partnerships

    Exploring and structuring partnerships is typically a big part of developing a Water Fund. Guidance is provided on key principles of effective partnerships and the experience of developing partnerships from different Water Funds around the world.
  3. Legal and Institutional Analyses

    Legal and institutional conditions are analyzed in an increasingly amount of detail across the Water Funds Project Cycle. These conditions are critical to analyze as they will ultimately affect how the governance system of the Water Fund is structured and how the Water Fund will operate in its local and regional context.
  4. Governance and Legal Models

    Water Funds are expected to evolve through a range of legal structures, beginning with simple agreements and then moving towards more sophisticated legal structures. A range of Governance and Legal Models are typically explored to identify the optimum governing structure of the Water Fund, while not limiting or unduly constraining the interaction it may have with relevant governing bodies.
  5. Establishing Credibility

    Establishing the credibility of a Water Fund means that strategic actions are being taken to build the reputation of a Water Fund as a credible entity that can help enhance the region's water security. Once established as a relevant contributor, the Water Fund will increase its ability to influence public policy, mobilize stakeholders and contribute to water governance, ultimately unlocking the potential to create significant impacts at scale.

Multi-stakeholder governance within the 5 phases of the Water Fund Project Cycle:

Phase 1: Feasibility

The Feasibility Phase includes two 'checks' to test if a Water Fund is the right water security tool. First, a test of 'eligibility' is completed by quickly determining if there are water security challenges and a potential for a Water Fund to help. If yes, feasibility is then explored further by developing a deeper understanding of the situation and generally how a Water Fund could positively contribute to water security within the defined area.

Related Steps

Phase 2: Design

The Design Phase is undertaken to develop the best solutions for the identified water security issues and to choose the appropriate water fund configuration which accounts for key technical issues, financial considerations, governance dimensions and strives for maximum impact.

Related Steps

Phase 3: Creation

The Creation Phase is undertaken to formalize and publicly launch the water fund.

Related Steps

Phase 4: Operation

The Operation Phase is undertaken to establish stability by developing and implementing a comprehensive work plan, which guides systematic execution of activities, measurement and evaluation, and communication of progress towards the goals of the water fund. These activities should be continuously improved through adaptive management, refinements, and innovation.

Related Steps

Phase 5: Maturity

The Maturity Phase is a determination that assures the long-term viability of the water fund to create significant and lasting impact that positively contributes to water security.